Seaweed as Fertilizer - Knowledgebase Question

Name: Garden Friend
old town, ME
Question by sherryanne19
March 28, 1998
I keep reading that seaweed is the perfect soil supplement. Last fall I went to the coast and picked up several bags of seaweed. Should I leave it or rake it up? I'm afraid of the salt.


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Answer from NGA
March 28, 1998

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Seaweed is a wonderful additive. It has lots of beneficial attributes that your garden will love. For instance: it has been found to release locked-up minerals in garden soil; it has the ability to pass on its high potash content to plants that need it(its potash content is twice that of barnyard manure); it contains growth-producing hormones; it has been found to keep seedlings from becoming leggy; it helps plants to withstand light frosts; insect and disease resistances of crops mulched with seaweedis higher; it is valued because of its freedom from weed seeds, insect eggs and plant diseases.

Nowhere do I find any mention of "salt" and its detrimental effects. In fact, one very good reference states that "the salts in seaweed, which need not be washed off for application to most soils or for composting, may provide additional nutrients, particularly magnesium."

If the seaweed is in your garden, I'd just leave it there. If it really makes you nervous, you can always put it in your compost bin if you'd feel better doing that.

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